Awards analysis is provided by Sean from @MathTeacherMovies.
The moment has arrived and the Oscar Nominations are officially here. While the nominations guarantee to incite anger, frustration, and sadness, this year managed to give some historic moments and some great surprises with a few hiccups along the way.
Delroy Lindo is unfortunately done with his Oscar campaign. There was hope that the Oscars would do the right thing unlike many other awards bodies. However, Lindo did not get his much deserved nomination for Da 5 Bloods. Steve Yeun was nominated for great performance in Minari and made history as the first Asian American to be recognized in the lead performance category.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and One Night in Miami didn’t have as great of a morning as I hoped. Thankfully, the performances were nominated, but neither film was nominated for Best Picture and only One Night in Miami was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. Instead, a screenplay nomination went to Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, which is confusing but not entirely off base, and White Tiger, a very welcome surprise.
Although I wondered if Judas and the Black Messiah was released too late in the awards season to wage an effective Oscar campaign, the film exceeded my expectations and managed to get quite a few technical awards, the expected Daniel Kaluuya nomination, an Original Screenplay nomination, and the top nomination of Best Picture. The greatest surprise was its two Supporting Actor nominations: Kaluuya and Lakieith Stanfield. Stanfield’s nomination was a huge (but exciting) surprise but the category feels out of place: who was the Lead Actor in Judas if both were supporting actors?
The Best Director nominations are an incredible amount of fun. For the first time in Oscars history, two women were nominated: Chloe Zhao for Nomadland and newcomer Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Woman. Even though it would have been nice to see Regina King here for One Night in Miami, it is still great to finally see diversity in this category. Thomas Vinterberg’s nomination for Another Round, a total surprise, solidifies this movie as the international film winner. Lee Isaac Chung’s nomination for direction of Minari was not as surprising, but is a huge step in the film becoming a formidable opponent to Another Round.
The Documentary category turned into an absolute snub fest. Favorites like Welcome to Chencnya, Dick Johnson is Dead, and Boys State weren’t nominated, making Time’s path to a win all the more easy, but this is any film’s game now. I was a big fan of Welcome to Chechnya and its snub for Visual Effects (the documentary used facial deep fakes to save survivors’ lives) is more important than talking circus animals and Jovovich battling monsters.
While this year’s and most year’s Best Original Song nominations are trash, there is bright light amongst the rubbish this year with the nomination of “Husavik” from Eurovision Song Contest. While they are not the clear front runner, they are the only deserving song to win and could still grab the statue.
Sound of Metal got all the nominations that it was expected to and is the token unsuspecting indie film on the list. However, seeing this film rise from being virtually unknown all the way to a Best Picture nomination is truly inspiring and maybe it can even snag a few wins.
The animated films had a few surprises, there have been a solid set five throughout the year and this morning nominated all of those with the exception of Croods: A New Age being replaced by A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon. While it’s not a monumental moment, it does show that animation like Shaun the Sheep and Wallace and Gromit can be a force to be reckoned with come Oscar season.
So there it is, after fourteen months of speculation, the focus will be narrowing to all of these wonderful and unique nominees with who will be victorious in April. The analysis will be concentrated, intense, repetitive, and intense, but it will always be heartfelt and passionate.
Let me know what you think at @mathteachermovies on Instagram.